Many people think that dog sweaters and other pet clothes are too ridiculous to be used in the average dog, but the truth is that more and more companies are now making them. While they used to be more of a fashion statement than anything else, the truth is that, for some breeds, it may make sense to put a sweater on a dog. Small dogs and those without fur may get cold very quickly, so the sweater can help keep them warm.
Little dogs are the most likely to need dog sweaters. Chihuahuas, toy terriers, miniature pinchers, and other small breeds may not be equipped to deal with outdoor winter temperatures, so it may be a good idea for a pet owner to invest in some type of protection for the dog to wear during his daily walks. This is especially true of shorthaired or hairless dogs. Veterinarians do not recommend sweaters for animals that have long hair or are accustomed to cold temperatures. Dogs are naturally predisposed to survive cold temperatures, so most don't need the extra protection.
Sweaters are also recommended for dogs that live in an area where the temperature drops significantly below 0°F (-18°C). This is especially important for animals that take long walks or spend a lot of time outdoors, even if they are large breeds that are accustomed to the cold. A sweater can especially help animals that are recuperating from an illness or injury and are more prone to feeling the effects of cold weather.
The best dog sweaters cover the chest and end at the tail. Full-length coats may be harder for an animal to adapt to, and many would be reluctant to wear them or act normally when they have the sweaters on. These garments can be created from a variety of materials, although wool and fleece are most common. Pet owners who live in a snowy area may find that water-resistant materials, such as the ones used for human parkas, may be better, so they should research alternatives before deciding on the right type of sweater for their animal.